The Hon. Elizabeth C. Peterson is a judge for the Superior Court of Santa Clara County in California. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Jerry Brown on December 24, 2016, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Edward J. Davila.
Peterson earned a B.A. in English literature and government from Smith College in 1993. She then completed a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1997.
She began her legal career in 1997. She started as an associate at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. During her five-year tenure there, she handled Medicare fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, corruption, conspiracy, bribery, and extortion cases.
Then, in 2002, she joined the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota as an assistant U.S. Attorney. She investigated and prosecuted criminal cases, ranging from narcotics offenses to economic crimes, violent crimes, international criminal crimes, and terrorism-related crimes. She served in that capacity for five years, eventually returning to Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld as of counsel.
Prior to her appointment to the bench, Peterson was a partner at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, where she specialized in white-collar criminal defense, corporate internal investigations, and complex commercial civil litigation.
Peterson has served on the Board of Directors of the Western Center on Law and Poverty as well as the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County.
She is registered as a Democrat.